Gallic trio Appolonia roll into town for a Collect! gig this month. We plugged in our babelfishes and gave them a grilling they’ll not forget.
Words: Si McLean
Pics: James Mould
If you were asked to remix Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, would you dare?
Of course. It’s a fantastic pop song, it would be amazing to have more of this on the radio and in the top 40. Totally into it – for a mainstream thing; it’s not what we play, but we love this one
Crowds vary across Europe quite a bit. Where do you find the most musical and genuine?
We would, with all honesty, say the best crowd is probably the English one. Really enthusiastic and supportive of our work, we play a lot in the UK and have more followers everyday.
Do you prefer playing in a club or at a festival?
Both are great to play Really, really great. The advantage of festivals is the fact that you get to play outdoors and in front of lots of people, and some of them are discovering your music for the first time, but we definitely prefer playing clubs ‘cause it’s more intimate and easier to connect with the crowd. We were very much borne of the club scene and we learned our trade in the smaller clubs, where there was a real symbiosis between the DJ and the crowd. That’s what we really love.
What is your favourite European Festival?
Once again, it’s hard to pick one – there are lots of good ones all around the world. We had the chance to play in front of 25,000 people at Exit festival in Serbia and when we were playing Snoop Dogg was playing the stage before us. That was really great and ejoyable. The Kappa festival
in Italy was really nice, as well –we love Turin and its people. It wasn’t our first time there, and our fanbase seems to get bigger allt the time, there. It even started to rain when we were playing but people stayed to dance till the end of our set. That was really nice. By chance, we had the luck to play in our hometown for The Peacock Society – we were playing with Hawtin, Villalobos and Hot Creation in one of the biggest festivals in Paris. We really enjoyed that.
Where did you do your first Paris club gigs when you started out?
Dan’s first time was probably in a bar, there were a lot of places in Paris in the 90s that’d let people play. He won a DJ contest in a place called Cithea and became resident of Radio FG. [Radio FG is one of France’s largest Dance radio stations, counting the likes of Bob Sinclar, Daft Punk and Benny Benassi among its DJs] I was working as a PR at Les Bains Douches and I had the opportunity to play in this club, whilst Shonky’s first time was in a gay bar, and nobody came. He was almost alone and played for more than six hours at a really shitty rate of pay.
Do you get the chance to practise your DJ sets as a trio or do you just wing it on stage most of the time?
We never prepare our DJ set. We always go with the flow – every party is individual, and the conditions are completely different. Sometimes we play in a festival for a lot of people, sometimes in an after-party, and other times around the pool in a nice villa for less people. We play differently from one party to the other, we adapt ourselves. We are probably too lazy to prepare anything. The only thing we are doing is digging for music all the time – we buy a lot of records. We have the luck to be surrounded by really good shops in our city, like Syncrophone, Hardwax and Spacehall.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Unfortunately, it’s hard to get the time to listen a lot of different music, we have to focus mainly on listening to music for the weekend. There’s so much to learn that it doesn’t give us a lot of time for the rest. It’s too bad but that’s the way it is at the moment
If you could rescue only one piece of your equipment from a fire, what would it be and why?
We all agree when we say that we’d save our MPC3000. We all bought it three years ago and it’s an amazing piece of kit. It’s the only thing we use to build our grooves – this gear is the main element of our studio. Though, we also love to use the classic SH101 and the JUNO 106.
You’re playing Collect! at O2 Academy in September – what can we expect?
We have heard a lot about it – we know it’s a big place and the vibe should be great. The UK crowd is one of the best, and this is our first time in Sheffield.
On top of that, we’re excited to play with artists like Dixon. It should be great, definitely.
What is your favourite Sandwich?
We have the luck to travel and every country has its own kind of sandwich. When we go to Miami, we like to eat the Cuban sandwich: ham and cheese toasted with pickle and a lot of mustard, its perfect for the hangover during WMC. [Winter Music Conference: depite its chilly name, it’s pretty much held on a beach.] We also like the piadina in Italy, but we definitely love the French ones, as well. So many sandwiches…
Appolonia will be rocking Collect! @ O2 Academy on Saturday the 28th September. Make with it.